PORTLAND, ORE – Beginning September 19th the artists known as Benz and Chang will present a site-specific art installation in the Portland Building lobby. The project, titled The Bridge, 1910, is a visual homage to the work crews that built the Hawthorne Bridge, Portland’s oldest existing river crossing.
Inspired by a historical photo (above) Benz discovered in the City of Portland Archives, the installation recreates a bridge work crew scene through a series of four large paper screens hung in the exhibition space. Each individual screen has been crafted into a hand-cut silhouette which offers a different layer of visual information. When viewed together—looking through all four at once—the silhouettes complete the scene and mythologize our idea of building of a bridge. By adjusting position in front of or alongside the silhouettes, viewers can alter their angle of view and manipulate the degree of abstraction or representation they take in.
“To dream of a bridge may signify making a connection, crossing a transition, or overcoming an obstacle. When we were contemplating the project, I came across this photo from the City of Portland Archives and was struck by the poses and faces. I wanted to bring these figures and bridge building into a more dream-like, archetypal representation. Here are the agents of change and here is their means of transport over this obstacle.” — Benz
About the Artists: Benz and Chang live and work in Portland and have shown in both Oregon and Colorado. Benz has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Benz and Chang use popular subject matter from early 20th Century photography to explore the topics of spirituality, shifting identity, and transformative experiences. Chang is a fictional creative partner to Benz. You can visit their website at http://www.benzandchang.com
Viewing Hours & Location: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in down-town Portland and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. The Bridge, 1910 opens September 19 and runs through October 14, 2016.
Meet the Artists: Join us for a chance to meet the artists and discuss the installation in person on Thursday, September 22 at 4 p.m..
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) manages the 13’ x 8’ installation space in the lobby of the Portland Building and presents installation based art there year round. For more information, including images, proposals, and statements for projects dating back to 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.